Conversation with a Starfish

Gentle starfish
it is with heavy heart
I returned you to your rocky perch.
Had I damaged you?
Or was that before?

I went back for you this morning.
Up and down the beach I searched.
Beneath the stones, between the seaweed.
You were nowhere.

Your family, brothers and sisters,
No longer haunt this ocean floor.
The pier’s legs appear stark
without their purple pantaloons.
They have wasted away.
Your family belongs to memory.

Perhaps that is why I covet you;
plucked you from the rocky shore
and held you;
my childhood poised in open palm.

Our visit was a blessing.

What is that you say?
Your voice upon the wind.
A horror?
My hands too big and prodding?
My apology too late?

Perhaps the ocean ebb and flow
shall reconcile our breath
in and out
hush

benign
despite the storm.

 

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